Hemp Innovations Foundation Funds Recyclability Study
According to the National Hemp Association (NHA), it is often repeated that hemp paper can be recycled up to eight times, compared to just three times for paper made from wood pulp. But is that actually true?
A new research project called Hemp Recycles — funded by the Hemp Innovations Foundation, a non-profit sister organization of the NHA — will help answer that. This research will pursue recyclability testing of hemp fibers used for paper making. The goal is to collect data that will determine potential long-term environmental impacts of using hemp-based paper rather than relying on wood fiber papers that perpetuate practices leading to deforestation and disruption of ecosystems.
The research will be conducted with a collaboration with Western Michigan University (WMU) through their pilot recycling program. The lead consultant and director of WMU’s Paper Pilot Plants, Lon Pschigoda, will conduct the most effective studies to determine the viability of hemp fiber paper pulp versus the traditional wood paper pulp most commonly used today. Various wood pulps will be tested in terms of the number of cycles they can withstand and a parallel series of tests will be done with hemp pulp provided by Hemp Press. The final results of this research will provide scientific data regarding the durability of hemp fiber pulp for paper and the implications of its recyclability on the environment at large.
The proposed study will provide quantifiable data which will be made widely available and will demonstrate the advantages of preserving the tree canopy to combat climate change while producing a paper product that is more robust, sequesters carbon, is less expensive, and can be recycled more times than tree-based paper.
“This research is the culmination of more than a decade of hemp paper innovation at Hemp Press. Our aim is to establish hemp as the preeminent alternative fiber needed to protect and preserve the most effective and widely distributed carbon capture device on Earth, our Ancient and Endangered Forests.” said Matthew Glyer, founder and CEO of Hemp Press and executive director of the Hemp Recycles Project at Root Research Foundation.